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Webster Telescopes Forum • View topic - Argo Navis versus Sky Commander
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 Post subject: Argo Navis versus Sky Commander
PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 7:53 pm 
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The observing club I belong to "Chesmont Astro Society" in PA is a real observers club. We have more than a dozen large dobs in the club, and many (like me with my C-24") have Argo Navis Navigation. Some of the guys have been observing over 40 years - it's a real blast to be associated with such a knowledgeable bunch!

I have used Argo quite a bit lately and though I admit I do like many of its features, I am not crazy about its menu options inside the CATALOG for GOTO. I find it a) non-intuitive, b) sparsely populated, or populated with names I have never heard of and c) it pre-supposes a significant knowledge of the night sky in order to master it through TOUR functions.

I am not the only one to have voiced this; other users in our club have stated the same.........Maybe it's just me, or that I've been spoiled by Celestron's Nexstar hand controller, but I'm seriously thinking of SkySafari or SkyTools to drive the scope. I prefer to use an IPAD rather than a PC, but I do not get WIFI or cell phone reception in VA where I use my 24". Alternately, maybe the unthinkable - replacing AN with Sky Commander (?!)

Bill H.


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 Post subject: Re: Argo Navis versus Sky Commander
PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 9:17 pm 
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Bill,

Personally, I like to use CATALOG, then NGC, PLANETS, MESSIER or whatever rather than TOUR, but of course everyone has their own system.

We used to sell the SkyCommander but the Argo is so much more advanced, works in freezing temps, red night vision saving readout, usable with gloves on, 29,000 objects....I don't think I could ever go back.


You can get a WiFi adapter from SkyFi and plug it into the Servocat/Argo. Then your cell phone can wirelessly control the telescope.

http://www.southernstars.com/products/skyfi/index.html

That might be just the right answer for you if you love using your cell phone.

Jim


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 Post subject: Re: Argo Navis versus Sky Commander
PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2012 8:39 am 
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Yes, Argo is fine for Messiers and NGCs, it starts to fall short on other objects like Hickson, Arp, Barnard and Cederblad, Semeis and a bunch of others.
(there's a lot of very serious folks in our club that go way beyond NGCs ).

Within a constellation, it would be great to call up planetary nebula or nice doubles, for instance. Many of the DS names we know like Alberio or Izar are not in the database by name (or go by different, more obscure names), making Argo more difficult to use. Gary from Argo tells me to unlearn my Celestron prejudices.... Maybe so.

I'd use SkySafari in a snap.... the caveat being I have no cell service in the BlueRidge mountains (and that's the way I like it).

Anyway guys, you make a great product and you can be assured I'll have plenty of suggestions for my next (larger) dob. Like cellular mirror for cooling, integral filter slide, Az lock, downward puller fan for cooling, etc.

But you'll have to bring me on the design team!

Meanwhile I guess I'll have to content myself with the 24".

Bill H.


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 Post subject: Re: Argo Navis versus Sky Commander
PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2012 3:33 am 
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Does Sky Safari require cell service to work once installed?

I keep hearing about people using retired iPhones for it, and I assume that by "retired" they mean no longer used for phone calls.

I don't have an iPhone, but my Droid using GoogleSky works without cell service.

============

Have you installed your own catalogs in the Argo?

Under USER you can put in whatever you like.

For instance there was an article in S&T "100 objects for light polluted sky". I have that catalog installed, as it is great for public outings.

I also have the Abell, Arp and Caldwell catalogs installed.

Here are some catalogs that might interest many of you guys:

http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/argo_navis_dtc/files/User%20Catalogs%20/

========================


Of course you are welcome to join the design team!

Jim


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 Post subject: Re: Argo Navis versus Sky Commander
PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2012 2:55 pm 
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Jim,

No, I don't think I need cell service to run the app. I'm going to see if SkyFi wireless will work, though. I'm going to really give Argo a thorough shakedown, however. And at the end of the day, not sure SkyCommander would do much better.

If I end up going the SkySafari route (I have a spare iPAD already so the investment is not that great), l'll report back on this forum.

Bill H.


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